Padel is a sport of the family of the racket sports. Often it is compared to squash or tennis because of its obvious similar ingredients. But can Padel be compared to any other racket sport? How about table-tennis? Is table-tennis a good background sport to help you develop as a Padel player?
A Coincidental Meeting
During the Huizen FIP 100 Padel Tournament at Coronel Sports last weekend there were two young talented padel players from Sweden. Thou both of them were pretty good, one of them attracted more attention specially due to his refined style, strategic vision and patience. He was clearly not a squash player because he could volley rather smoothly -something Squash players typically lack-; he was neither a tennis player because he was clearly patient. He could play several lobs before attempting to take over the offensive position. Curious about his background, I approached him. To my suprise I stroke gold. He was Andreas Johanson, a former top 5 table-tennis player from Sweden, who started playing table-tennis at the early age of 7 years old and stopped playing competitively at 21 years of age. During this time he was a member of the Swedish National Team at a time when the country was among the best in the world. In 2006, due to budget constrains and time limitations, he decided to focus on his university studies and invested his free time on a completely different sport: Muay Thai. Most recently, nearly two years ago, and almost ten years after quitting table-tennis, he discovered Padel.
Technical Differences and Similarities
He tried padel for the first time in his hometown Helsinborg and ever since then he was in love with it. The most interesting aspect of padel to him are strategy, managing speeds and defending tactically. His table-tennis background, he says, aids him in reading the spin and in anticipating the bounce off the walls. However, he recognizes that he is used to utilize his wrist when playing most shots, and this is not suitable at padel.
Future and Competitions
To date he plans on following the Swedish Padel Circuit, but also travel abroad to compete because this will help him learn and understand padel further. He believes that there is so many people in his country that are eager to learn that the interest has moved further and beyond playing “tennis” in a padel court. Andreas, and his country men, are making an effort to play real padel. And surely after competing in the last European Championships in 2015 in Holland, there is tremendous interest for playing padel at the elite level, rather than the social competitions that were popular before. Having seen him play and analyze padel, one must think that table-tennis is a positive background that can help you develop into a well-rounded padel player.